- Francie (Barbie doll)
Francie was a
fashion dollissued by Mattelfrom 1966 to 1976. Marketed as " Barbie's MODern cousin" (sic), the doll had an extensive line of "mod"-style clothing, often employing bright colors and geometric patterns similar to fashions associated with Carnaby Streetin the late 1960s to early 1970s. At 11¼ inches tall, the Francie doll was shorter than Barbie, but taller than Skipper, making the character presumably between the two in age.
Models and variations
Francie came in several configurations over the course of its decade-long run, beginning with a straight leg model (1966-1968) and a "bend leg" doll (1966-1967). "Twist 'N Turn" dolls were issued beginning in 1967. In the 1970s several hair-related variations were issued: "Hair Happenin's Francie" in 1970-1972, a "Growin' Pretty Hair" model in 1971-1973, and a "Quick Curl Francie" in 1973-1974. "Busy Francie" (1972-1973) was designed with a hand that was able to grip small objects. 1975's "Baggie Francie" was the last of the Francie dolls.
A "colored Francie", first issued in 1967, was the first doll in the Mattel line with a truly dark complexion. However, the doll did not have genuinely
African Americanfeatures, since it was made with the same head molds as the Caucasian Francie doll. Because of this, a doll named Christie, first issued in 1968, is often considered the first true African American doll in the Barbie line. [http://www.mastercollector.com/articles/dolls/dollnews31301.shtml] "Black Francie" was not labeled as "Barbie's MODern cousin."
A second doll in Francie's size, Casey, was issued as "Francie's fun friend" from 1967. That same year a
Twiggydoll was also made, resembling Casey but with heavier painted-on "makeup". The Twiggy doll was made through 1968, and Casey through 1970. Casey returned briefly in 1975 as "Baggie Casey", but she was made with the same head mold as Francie. In 1971 a Malibu Francie doll was made, using the Casey head mold but with a tanned body and long blond hair.
In the 1971 Mattel catalog, there were pictures of a new doll named "Becky". She was made from the Casey head mold, was hand painted and shown in blonde, although prototypes of her were made in blonde, brunette and redhead. Eventually, for reasons unknown, Mattel decided not to mass produce Becky. Some 1971 fashions could be found in stores labeled as being for "Francie and her new friend Becky" and are highly sought after by collectors.
In the film adaptation of "Tideland" one of Jeliza Rose's dismembered dollheads was an old Francie doll.
*Blitman, Joe. "Francie & Her Mod, Mod, Mod, Mod World of Fashion", ISBN 0-87588-449-0
*Deutsch, Stefanie. "Barbie: The First 30 Years, 1959 through 1989", ISBN 0-89145-665-1
*Eames, Sarah Sink. "Barbie Doll Fashion, Vol. II, 1968-1974", ISBN 0-89145-758-5
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